Abraham de Moivre was a renowned French mathematician who famously worked on mortality tables with Edmond Halley (of comet fame). That means he spent his whole life studying death through numbers -- using math and formulas, de Moivre produced a theory that you could figure out a person's life span based on death rates. By doing so, he also single-handedly threw every school kid's "Why am I going to need to know math, I'll never use it" argument out the window.
As if that wasn't enough, he was awesome in Young Frankenstein.
When de Moivre was 87, he noticed that he was sleeping 15 minutes longer each night. Still obsessed with math and death, he speculated that when those 15 minutes added up to 24 hours, he would simply not wake up.
"Three months? That's just enough time to empty the wine cellar."
According to his calculations, the date of his death would fall on November 27, 1754. Guess what happened on that day.
Apparently de Moivre wasn't one to go back on his speculations. Once you make a prediction like that, it becomes harder to, say, just not go to bed one night to throw the mathematics out of whack. After all, his reputation as a statistician was on the line here. And so he dutifully kept his routine and continued to rise and shine 15 minutes later each day ... and sure enough, the day that those minutes added up to 24 full hours, he died. The date was November 27, 1754. His official cause of death? "Somnolence." Apparently they wouldn't accept "Math."
Math, the silent killer.
So the next time you oversleep, that definitely means you are inching closer to death. We do wonder if de Moivre would be a 300-year-old immortal today if he'd just bought an alarm clock.
Arnold Schoenberg was one of the most important and hugely influential composers of all time, having introduced an "atonal" style of music that scandalized critics and listeners in the 1920s -- he was like a better dressed Marilyn Manson, in that sense. His music was abhorred by the Nazis, and he was kicked out of Germany, so he must have been doing something right.
Also, his grave is a fucking cube.
Schoenberg had a crippling fear of the number 13. He was born on September 13 and spent his whole life sure that he would die on the 13th of a month. His irrational phobia got worse every year, and he started going out of his way to avoid the number -- when he wrote an opera titled "Moses and Aaron," he realized the amount of letters added up to 13 (or "12A," as he called it), so he changed "Aaron" to "Aron." He once remarked, "It is not superstition, it is belief."
"Mainly because 'superstition' has 12 letters, and that's way too close."
But that's silly, of course. It's not like a number can actually kill you. Um, right?
As it turns out, Schoenberg's phobia wasn't so irrational. On his 76th birthday, a fellow musician, Oskar Adler, wrote him and said that the following year might be one to watch out for, as 7 + 6 = 13, which, yeah, was kind of a dick move, Oskar. Never tell Oskar Adler you're afraid of spiders because he'll throw one in your face while you sleep, people.
Anyway, the warning made Schoenberg more anxious than usual -- he always looked out for years that were multiples of 13, but he'd never considered that the ones that add up to 13 could be a problem, too. And so, on Friday the 13th, 1951, Schoenberg decided to stay in bed all day, since this has proven to be an effective method of avoiding being run over by trucks or crushed by falling boulders. After making it through the entire evening without event, at 11:45 p.m., Schoenberg's wife leaned over and told him, "You see, the day is almost over. All that worry was for nothing."
If you like baseball, you might know Frank Pastore as a Major League pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins in the 1970s and '80s; if you're into Christian radio, you probably know him from the most listened to Christian talk show in the United States, The Frank Pastore Show; and if you're into freaky coincidences, then you know him from the following story.
On his November 19, 2012 broadcast, Pastore and his listeners were discussing some of his favorite subjects, namely the immortality of the soul and riding bitchin' bikes. Pastore remarked:
"You guys know I ride a motorcycle, right? At any moment, especially with the idiot people who cross the diamond lane into my lane, without any blinkers -- not that I'm angry about it -- at any minute, I could be spread all over the 210."
You can listen to the exact moment he says that here:
There are those who believe you should knock on wood to keep the things you say from happening. Frank Pastore was not one of these people, apparently.
About three hours after he said that, Pastore was riding his motorcycle on the 210 freeway when a 56-year-old woman driving a Hyundai Sonata drifted into his lane and collided with his bike. Pastore fell on the freeway, just as he'd predicted during his show, suffered massive head injuries, and died a month later after being in a coma. And no, the woman wasn't an angry listener trying to show him up: His death was ruled accidental.
As far as unfortunate coincidences go, that about takes the prize, but on the other hand, the whole point of Pastore's last show was "Don't worry about me -- my soul is doing fine somewhere else, gorging on steaks the size of galaxies."
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images / bigtexan.com
In the final test, people who order well-done go to straight to hell.
Stephen can be found on Twitter and is really good at buying conditioner when he meant to buy shampoo.
For more way creepy predictions, check out 6 Eerily Specific World Events Predicted by Comics and The 5 Most Ridiculous Pop Culture Predictions That Came True.